PC World and Currys parent DSGi suffered a seven per cent like for like sales drop in electrical sales, and a 12 per cent fall in computer sales in the UK for the 16 weeks ended August 23rd.
The firm also recorded a 0.75 per cent fall in gross margins for the same period. Total group sales were up 4 per cent in sterling, but down 2 per cent in local currency.
DSGi said that the trading environment remains challenging, and that it had delivered its £50 million cost reductions programme with an additional £25 million targeted savings for this year.
Despite this difficult environment, the store refit programme appears to be on course, with five new format PC World stores already having appeared, and a further 25 on schedule in time for the peak season. New Currys and Currys.digital stores are opening, while a further ten are on track to be revamped.
“We have had a challenging start to the year, although we are trading against tough comparables,” said chief executive John Browett. “The economic backdrop in which the Group operates remains difficult across Europe, and we are managing costs and stock levels accordingly. We remain very cautious about the consumer outlook.
“This is a period of intense activity for the Group as we action our three year renewal and transformation plan and focus on the customer. We are revamping ranges, retraining staff, and simplifying the business. Although we are only four months in, a lot of changes are already underway which will benefit both our customers and our shareholders.”